DCCC Poll Gives Kissell Big Lead in N.C.

Posted October 2, 2008 at 2:09pm

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released results from a new poll in North Carolina’s 8th district Thursday that showed high school teacher Larry Kissell (D) ahead of Rep. Robin Hayes (R) by 11 points with just over a month to go until Election Day.

The survey of 400 likely voters was conducted by the polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and had Kissell with a 54-percent-to-43-percent lead. The survey was conducted Sept. 28-29 and had a 4.9-point margin of error.

Kissell came within 330 votes of beating Hayes last cycle when he ran a net-roots-based campaign and was essentially ignored by the DCCC. The committee isn’t making the same mistake twice, and this cycle they’ve made the 8th district a top priority. The DCCC has already spent $576,000 as part of the $1.5 million in TV airtime it has reserved in the district. The party’s support will be crucial against the wealthy Hayes, who is heir to a textile fortune.

Presidential coattails will likely be a factor in this contest, and Democrats are hoping that the presence of Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) on the ticket will give Kissell a boost at the polls in November, especially among the district’s 27 percent black population.

The new DCCC survey found Obama leading Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) by 12 points (54 percent to 42 percent) in the 8th district. That represents a major swing in a district that voted to re-elect President Bush with 54 percent in 2004.

In the North Carolina Senate contest, state Sen. Kay Hagan (D) led Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R) by 14 points (55 percent to 41 percent) in the 8th district poll.